NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition – A Review

teal-niv-journal-bible-coverNIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition is a very pretty journaling Bible for girls, or young women, or any woman that likes pretty. Each page has the place to write your thoughts, verses, etc. down the length of the page. There is a nice elastic to keep the Bible closed, and a lovely bookmark that matches the cover. I chose the turquoise edition to review (a personal favorite color) and the cover is incredibly lovely. The cover doesn’t contain text so it’s nice to have sitting out.  The book is more compact and a bit ‘smaller’ than a lot of Bibles, so it would be nice to slip into a book bag for  a Bible study or to cart with you.  There is a nice dedication page and unlike most Bibles, no maps or reference pages.

A horrible web cam image, but it shows off the cover without the  cardboard holder

A horrible web cam image, but it shows off the cover without the cardboard holder

This is a very lovely Bible, and I love that every page has a place to jot down thoughts, but I found the text really small in comparison to other Bibles I’ve read.  And because of the layout of the lines for journaling, I find the text to be a little compacted on the page.  I wouldn’t say this would be a good Bible for anyone under say 14 or so because of it’s small size, but at the same point, I don’t think most girls will journal under that age. I think for a young woman in Bible study it would be a nice edition to be able to jot down your thoughts and prayers.

I really loved the color and feel of the book. My biggest complaint would be the size of the text. Overall, it’s a nice Bible and it would be a lovely gift for a young woman for baptism or some other special occasion.  I would give it probably a 3 out of 5 stars.

This bible was provided to me for my honest review from Harper Collin’s Christian Publishing and BookLookBloggers. I have in no way been compensated for my review.

Kate

Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope – A Review

_225_350_Book.1777.coverDuring the holiday season, we are so focused on the holiday in general that we forget what the true season of Christmas is about. Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio is an advent devotion book meant to help us slow down, stop, and reflect what Christmas and the advent are really about. Each day starting with November 26th, Paster Giglio guides us in scripture, a reflection relating to the scripture, meditation (which is usually a Christmas poem or song) and finally a prayer.  So 30 days of thinking about how we are waiting for Christ  and the remembrance of his birth, which for Christians, is a very sacred time of year.  So, when we get a little too busy with buying the gifts, preparing the Christmas meals and dealing with family and travel and all the frustrations that may come, this very thing, almost pocket sized book is just right for pulling out. Lighting a candle and meditating and focusing on Christ.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have loved advent since I was a little girl when we would read the Christmas story through the four weeks of December, lighting a green candle each week for the wise men, Mary and Joseph, The shepherds, the angels, and finally a red candle for Jesus. There were the colorful calendars and it was a very memorable and sacred time of year for me. I eagerly looked forward to it. As time as gone by, I have slowly let that slipe away, and this book is perfect for putting you right back into the calming frame of mind of what Christmas is really about. While I am terrible at devotions and having a daily schedule for reading my Bible, and I didn’t technically finish this book in a daily order, it’s still a lovely small book, perfect for the season. There is something incredibly calming about the red, black, white and grey colors of the book. So calming in fact that I ended up writing a sonnet about red berries with the colors of black, white and grey. This book is perfect for any Christian that want to get back to what advent is about. I love it’s slim size and I love that the meditations are songs I know, but may not know all the lyrics. I liked that it was a very Christmas themed book in that it had the traditional songs that Christians know for the season. From Oh Come All Ye Faithful, O Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, and O Holy Night. Lovely hymns Christians know and love.

I would highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants do practice adven but feels too old for the calendars and childish themes. This is a lovely book. Five out of Five stars.

Kate

This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest opinion and review from HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Thomas Nelson, and BookLookBloggers.

Telling Fortunes

Published in the US - 1895, US Playing Card Co...

Published in the US – 1895, US Playing Card Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not someone that believes in the occult, nor do I go for all that mystical thing or fortunes or tarot…. I am honestly a Christian.  But I am still fascinated by things like fortunes or tarot.  Just because. I can’t explain it. And even in the Bible, games/lots were thrown. It technically wasn’t biblical, and it doesn’t follow along with trusting God.

But again, it still interests me.

Someone in my life is frustrating the heck out of me and I just found out today I don’t rate as high in his life as he does in mine.  It’s rather depressing and I’ve been trying to mentally deal with that.  A few years ago I found this fun way of determining who you will end up with using playing cards.  Yes, I suppose it is rather ridiculous in the scope of things, but I decided to play with it today.

Here is the original link.  How to tell if he likes you, and other sleepover occult games

So, I just ran my cards, picking the main person, someone new and a possibility, someone who I don’t consider but like talking to, and then someone I can’t stand.

The results….. Um, I ended up with the one I wanted, and it was relatively decent in the scope of things.  I suppose if one believed in this, it would be hopeful…..

But I don’t believe in tarot………. Do I?

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary – A Review

_225_350_Book.1387.coverNelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary New and Enhanced Edition
By General Editor: Ronald F. Youngblood, is a marvelously exhaustive dictionary for the home reader.  Filled with a wealth of images, enough even for the picture hog that I am, there is plenty of diagrams, maps and genealogy charts.  The information is perfect for the home scholar like a standard home school student or general home reader. I compared this dictionary to my mother’s The New Bible Dictionary.  While this book doesn’t have as much in depth information as the TNBD, it is perfect for anyone that wants the basics.  The information is easy to find and the cross referencing is easy to figure out. There is actually more information in areas like animals and foods of the Bible that I have not seen in other dictionaries. Which makes the information more user friendly.  The hardcover book has a nice glossy cover that would easily wipe clean.  The book is hefty, weighing in at just over five pounds, but it’s worth it with thick pages and plenty of fun stuff. There is even information that is crucial with references to other gods from Egyptian, Greek and ancient gods from Canaan.

 

I love this dictionary.  I am a sucker for dictionaries in general and I am always curious about things within the pages of the Good Book.  Maps are wonderful and the images of ancient architecture are wonderful. I love seeing what the gates of Babylon look like now. Ephesus  is one of my particular favorites.  Anything Greek or Roman, and this book is filled with it.  Along with a wealth of people mentioned that are not always in other dictionaries. I love how one entry references another entry and three hours later I might put the book down!  I love that the book is so sturdy. I hate flimsy pages and I love glossy pages.  The weight can be a little daunting when sitting in bed, but the information makes up for that. I know I will be using this book for years to come.  I say this book is perfect for any age, but especially for Christian home schooler homes just because it is filled with so much information and it will be useful in those categories. I also think it is perfect for any Christian home use.

I can usually say most non-fiction books get a five star rating and this is no exception. This book is a five star book and I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice Bible Dictionary.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Love Letters From God: Bible Stories – A Review

91QjaJsWoXLLove Letters from God: Bible Stories by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, is a collection of short Bible stories for children published by Zonderkidz. Each of the 18 stories has a companion ‘love’ letter to the reader written by “God” hidden under a flap with a charming ‘stamp’ as if it had just been mailed. There is a blank spot to fill in the name of the child for each letter, making this a highly personalized book. There is also one last letter at the end of the book asking the reader to join Jesus’s team and a blank letter for the reader to pen a response to Jesus.

Of the 18 stories, some are classics, like the Creation, Noah, Jonah and the Whale, and the birth of Christ. Then the less ‘popular’ stories such as Samuel, David’s Anointing, the lost sheep, and Zacchaeus. The pages are filled with full page illustrations, that are unique to each story, some having a more photograph feel set in with the drawings. The overall feel of the book is very elegant with heavy pages and a glossy and mat dust jacket. The choice of a turquoise as the main color makes it incredibly soothing in its own way. It’s a very well done book.

I found this book, though, hard to review. I found the premise of the book was creative with the personalized letters to the reader, yet I found each story to be ‘dumbed down’ to the point of being cutesy instead of containing enough depth to really teach anything. Most Bible stories are not what I would call ‘happy’, but Ms. Nellist has made every story exuberant in some way. The story of Noah, while one of my favorite stories, is all about God destroying all but a few people. It’s not about just Noah’s family and the animals in the ark. Nor is it exactly exciting for the lions to be soooooo happy because they are going to get to eat Daniel, in the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. I just think there should have been better content in regards to the stories instead of making them so ‘happy’. ( I feel like I should cue Pharrell Williams and his song “Happy”)

That being said, I think many Christian families will enjoy this book. I myself was raised with a more traditional backing where we read the Bible instead of learning the stories from other books. I think that there are methods to Bible stories that make it more simple for a child to understand without making it ‘fun’. For instance, one of the best methods I remember being taught the stories was with large flashcard pictures, that were works of art in themselves, while the story was read. The content wasn’t taken out, but the pictures helped coalesce the whole story. I found this book to be just cute and I wonder if once the stories have been read over it will become old. Also I would say with what I have seen of most children reading books, don’t let your 4-8 year old alone with this. The letters will get torn because there is great care needed in reading this book.

I’d would probably give this book at the most 3 out of 5 stars. And I can honestly say I hate to write more negative reviews.

I was provided this book free for my honest opinion and review from Harper Collins Christian publishing.

Signing off

Kate

NIV Gardners Bible – A Review

_240_360_Book.1285.cover“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses,” are the words of a famous hymn that goes perfectly with the NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible Grow Your Faith While Growing Your Garden contributed by Shelley Cramm.  Take a walk in a garden with God as you meander through the Gardeners Bible, with daily devotions centering on the growth of the spirit. With daily essays on things pertaining to gardens, literally and metaphorically, this bible takes you on a journey of the soul of the gardener. Tending, growing and cultivating the spirit. Each essay, under the themes of Garden Tour, Garden Work and Garden Stories, gives you a verse, or selection of verses, a companion of cross-references and plenty of ‘food for thought’. Taking a year to meander through the Bible, just like a garden, our spiritual life is a constant through the year.

I was quite impressed with the Gardeners Bible. I’m a firm believer that we are stewards of the land and we are called upon to tend the land even though it may not be the Garden of Eden any longer.  Just as we till with our hands, we cultivate our spirit in God’s word. The essays are just right for contemplation, with a very green feel (as in the essay has a lovely green page to separate it out from the rest of the white pages.) The end of each essay tells you where to read the next day and so forth, and there is an index at the back of the Bible for ease of use.  The dust jacket and cover of the book are the same image, which I really like. The Bible has a very crisp and fresh feel, just like being in a garden.  Shelley Cramm uses an exhaustive bibliography, which is cited in her essays; a feature I always love for further reading. If you are a gardener in Christ and want and a supplemental devotional Bible, I highly recommend the Gardeners Bible.

 

This book was provided free of charge from Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins Christian Publishing for my honest review.

Signing off

Kate

The Woman’s Study Bible, NIV – Review

The Woman’s Study Bible is a very informative, easy to read, and encouraging Bible. Written as the NIV version, the text is easy to understand compared to other versions of the Bible.  One of the unique features of this Bible are the many areas of reference regarding our daily struggles.  From the mundane of shopping to the personal of a woman’s cycle and growing up, there are sections all throughout that talk about a particular subject then direct you to areas that are applicable.  Charts showing important women of the Bible, along with some you may not have known about as much.  There are quotes regarding spiritual life, and also character portraits.  The beginning of each book has a bit of history and the time period it was written, and by whom. This is definitely a Bible geared specifically and only for women.  There are even parts on the foods and herbs eaten in Bible times.  Clear and concise without a lot of extra dogma. There are lots of little places to get lost reading.

I was quite excited to try this Bible from Thomas Nelson books since I had missed the opportunity to request the Bride’s Bible.  I have this penchant for collecting Bible’s it seems, having about 10 in my collection, so one that was specific for women appealed to me.  I really enjoy this Bible, though I can’t say as I am one to read it all that often, but I’ve never been one to read my Bible all that often either.  Usually I prefer the New American Standard Bible, but this one is very easy to read.

I didn’t like the fact that the references and footnotes were more opinion than directing me to corresponding verses, like I’m used to, however, I still found it nice.  My other complaint would be the color of the cover.  Clay tan/brown would not have been my choice at all for a woman’s Bible.  Why not a pretty purple, lavender, pink, rose, coral, or even the color of the rose on the dust jacket?  The dust jacket was quite nice, but I had to take it off because it squeaked.  But honestly, the color was most annoying to me.  While inside all the highlighted areas are in this pale tan color, the cover is not appealing in the least.

That aside, I really enjoy this Bible.  There are a few areas I disagree with where the publisher put too much of their own specific views, usually in regards to birth control, marriage, children, and such, but on the whole, a very nice Bible.  I had considered possibly using it as a gift in the future for a friend or someone I thought might like it, as I have 10 Bibles, but I like it too much and it will have a place with my other treasured Bible from my uncle who passed away before I was even born.

I recommend this to anyone searching for a nice Bible to give to a woman, girl, or possibly even a  bride, though it is expensive.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Signing off

~Kate

Book Review – Unexpected Love by Julie Coleman

Unexpected Love God’s Heart Revealed in Jesus’ Conversations with Women By Julie Coleman takes a look at Jesus’ interactions with women in the Bible.  Breaking down what He said to these women and what it really means.  Each of the nine chapters starts out with actual scripture of the story, taken mostly from the New American Standard Bible, then goes on to the author giving a more fictionalized version of scripture.  Next comes the breakdown of what Jesus has said and a discussion of what everything means.  Each chapter concludes with a section titled “Food for Thought”, giving questions to ask one’s self and verses that correlate.  Then another section called ‘Journaling’ which gives you a chance to ponder and record your own thoughts on the prompt included.

From the title and description I really expected Unexpected Love to be a great book introducing me to some of the areas in the Bible I haven’t read, but relate to God’s interaction with women.  While it does do that, I was severely disappointed and bored out of my mind reading this book.  So disappointed, in fact, that I only read two chapters.

I found the version of the story the author told was too speculative, feeling like it was more fiction than dealing in facts.  I would have much preferred bits of information about the time period interspersed  with the retelling of scripture instead of trying to make it into fiction.  While the facts are included with the breakdown of everything that is explained, it’s clunky to read it that way.  Also, the breakdown of every sentence and what each think means felt tedious.  I felt like the author was trying too hard.  While I’m sure there are women out there who find comfort in this book, I found it very tedious.  I think I’ll stick to just reading the Bible.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>

Signing off

~Kate

 

 

Book Review – The Fantasy Fallacy

https://i1.wp.com/www.booksneeze.com/art/_240_360_Book.712.cover.jpgThe Fantasy Fallacy Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts By Shannon Ethridge takes a look at the other side of the argument for the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon.  Delving into what some of our fantasies stem from and using Biblical references, Shannon explains some of the problems behind why we crave what we do on a sexual basis.  Written in a very readable wand exciting format, you won’t get bogged down in psychoanalyst mumbo jumbo, but come out of it understanding maybe just a bit more about the human psyche.

I have never read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, and don’t really have plans to in the near future, though I have read my fair share of erotic fiction.  IN the past I have struggled with some of my own thoughts regarding my own fantasies and I was quite excited to read Shannon’s book even though I usually avoid ‘self-help Christian’ books. I  flew through this book in a matter of days, enjoying every aspect of it, even the areas I disagreed with, which were very few.  Whether or not you’ve read Fifty Shades, I would highly recommend  The Fantasy Fallacy.  Not only is it an enjoyable read filled with a lot of information , but it is excellent and though provoking if you have struggled with your own fantasies.  My only complaint would be that I wished it were twice as long because I want to know more about human behavior and I don’t know what to read next! Definitely five stars.

Signing off

~Kate